Up here in the northland it seems like weather is a daily topic of conversation. At this time of year, as we transition from winter to spring, I’ve been hearing a lot of people talking about “weather whiplash” due to the wild swings in temperature from day to day. I was wondering if the floral industry might also suffer from “spring holiday whiplash.” April is definitely in-the-trenches time for spring holidays and in this issue Kathy Hession, an experienced industry... Read more
L.A. LIVE alive with flowers  at this year’s World Floral Expo
In the heart of downtown Los Angeles is L.A. LIVE, the sports and entertainment district that surrounds Staples Center and Nokia Theatre, featuring sports and music venues, nightclubs, the Grammy Museum and several movie theaters. On March 11-13 it was also alive with the 16th edition of the annual World Floral Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center and it was a busy few days for members of the floral industry, networking and conducting business with each other. For... Read more
Mother’s Day task lists can help achieve competitive edge in floral
With over 85 million moms in the United States, chances of having a successful Mother’s Day are on your side. With advanced planning and flawless execution, this high-pressure holiday can easily bring optimum sales. According to the National Federation of Retailers, Mother’s Day accounts for about one-fourth of yearly holiday floral sales. In 2014 it said 66.6 percent of those celebrating Mother’s Day bought mom flowers, spending a total of $2.3 billion.   Kathy... Read more
Memorial Day Flowers Foundation to decorate veterans’ graves
The Memorial Day Flowers Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, unites the flower industry to place roses and other flowers on the graves of fallen veterans for Memorial Day. Since 2011, it has been honoring the nation’s war dead in Arlington National Cemetery and in hundreds of communities across the country. “The [Arlington] event is sponsored by the Wholesale Florist & Florist Supplier Association, Esprit Miami, Sole Farms, the Queens Group, Continental Farms,... Read more
Kennicott Bros. Co., headquartered in Chicago, has acquired the operating assets of Import Connection in Royal Oak, MI. The operations will be merged into the Nordlie Detroit location in Warren, MI, according to a news release. Import Connection was founded in 1986 by Terry Leeser and Mark Naimy, working out of a garage, and the business has grown to become a major wholesale house in the Michigan market. “Import Connection is a good fit for our business,” said... Read more
This year marks the 11th edition of the FlowerTrials, slated for June 9-12 in the Westland and Aalsmeer areas in the Netherlands and in Rhineland-Westfalen in Germany, according to a news release. Around 49 participating companies will open their doors and display the latest developments in pot and bedding plants to wholesalers, growers and retailers. Seven new companies will exhibit for the first time in 2015 — three from the Netherlands, three from Israel and... Read more
Nearly 100 members of the Society of American Florists gathered in Washington, DC, March 9-10 to attend the organization’s 35th annual Congressional Action Days. This year, SAF was looking to make an impact by having its members address the following issues with Congress. • Immigration reform for agriculture. Opposing the passage of the Legal Workforce Act, or any other legislation that includes an “agricultural exemption” or “phase-in time.” SAF supports... Read more
On March 1, Andy Matsui celebrated his 80th birthday, and his daughter, Teresa Matsui, became Matsui Nursery’s president, according to a news release. Andy Matsui, the company founder, is now chairman of Matsui Nursery and said he’s looking forward to working just five days a week instead of his usual seven. “What I want is for him to have fun,” said Teresa Matsui in the release. “To work with the growers, to plan our new greenhouses, to not have to hassle with... Read more
A breakthrough in floriculture, Ketchup and Fries by TomTato is a hand-grafted plant that produces both sweet tomatoes and delicious potatoes. According to a company news release, this product from Britain has made its way to the North American market through SuperNaturals Grafted Vegetables, the founders of the “Mighty ‘Mato” grafted tomato brand. Above the ground, gardeners can harvest over 500 super sweet cherry tomatoes for snacking, salads and even ketchup.... Read more
Spring is on its way — that is the sentiment from shoppers whenever they first see garden seed displays in stores. Garden seeds are a great selling category for today’s floral departments because they produce high margins, fast turns and no initial product investment. Plus, your customers appreciate the one-stop shopping of being able to make their flower and vegetable seed selections while visiting your floral department. The current trend in fresh foods is locally... Read more
The International Floriculture Expo has announced in a news release that Susan Packard, co-founder of HGTV, will be the keynote speaker for the International Floriculture Expo that will take place June 8-10 at McCormick Place in Chicago. The 2015 show will be co-located with United Fresh and the Food Marketing Institute’s FMI Connect and is expected to draw 14,000 attendees. “Susan Packard is a thought-leader,” said Bob Callahan, group vice president for the... Read more
As the former owner of NYC Farm Chic Flowers, every time I crafted hand-held bouquets for delivery, there was a constant “there has to be a better way,” voice in my mind — that is, a better way to hydrate flower stems of hand-held bouquets other than messy paper towels or chemically based foam wraps. The major design goals for the desired product included: • Support the life of cut flowers. • 100 percent plant-based composition. • Ecologically... Read more
The Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers held a Growers’ Intensive Conference at the Georgia Center on the campus of the University of Georgia March 2-3 and it drew 124 attendees from 29 different states. The conference was open to anyone interested in commercial cut flower production or floral design and the two-day event focused on the production and marketing of field and greenhouse cut flowers. “I realized during the welcome reception just how diverse... Read more
Design shows, business sessions and networking highlighted this year’s Great Lakes Floral Expo, “Floral Fantasy.” The annual event, held in Grand Rapids, MI, attracted floral industry members from Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana. The Michigan Floral Association, which sponsors the event, said that attendance was up 8 percent this year. One of the most popular sessions was the annual contest to choose the MFA designer of the year. Winning the top... Read more
On March 6 the Association of Flower Importers of Florida, located in Miami and a member of Globally Grown, partnered with Miami International Airport to celebrate International Women’s Day. More than 150 volunteers from AFIF and MIA handed out over 20,000 stems of fresh flowers to women arriving at the airport. The member companies of AFIF provided the flowers and volunteers for the event and every volunteer wore a yellow shirt that said, “Celebrating International... Read more
It is amazing what the floral industry can do when we work together. There is no clearer example than International Women’s Day, which was celebrated on Sunday, March 8. This year, Women’s Day matured into a substantial holiday, as American consumers gravitated to the idea of celebrating women with flowers. “We felt more awareness around the holiday than in years past,” said Rebecca Eckblad, vice president of floral at Roundy’s Supermarkets in Milwaukee. “Women’s... Read more
Dirk Hogervorst, strategy, marketing and business development manager at FloraHolland in the Netherlands, will leave the company after more than 25 years, according to a news release. “In the past 25 years, I have held various and multifaceted positions at FloraHolland,” Hogervorst said in the release. “I have worked for this fantastic cooperative with great pleasure and passion, together with you — my colleagues, the growers, the customers and many others. I... Read more
Hortiflorexpo IPM Shanghai is China’s largest horticultural fair and the China Flowers Association in cooperation with Messe Essen are the show’s organizers. Over 20,000 trade visitors are expected at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre April 22-24, the second largest fair center in the People’s Republic of China, according to a news release. More than 450 exhibitors will show their wares and official country pavilions from France, Germany, the Netherlands... Read more
FloraHolland Seasonal Trade Fair 2015 is slated for March 18-19 in Naaldwijk, Netherlands, and is expected to attract thousands of trade visitors. More than 400 growers of cut flowers, green and flowering house plants and garden plants will showcase their wares, according to a news release. This year, the Seasonal Trade Fair will join forces with the Florist Event, a business gathering for patrons of the Florists’ Clock Naaldwijk, and this move will increase... Read more
Plant Introductions Inc., located in Watkinsville, GA, and developers of numerous innovative varieties of ornamental plants, has been purchased by Bailey Nurseries, based in St. Paul, MN, according to a news release. “This new venture is a natural progression in our relationship with [PII partners] Dr. Michael Dirr, Jeff Beasley and Mark Griffith,” said Bailey Nurseries president Terri McEnaney in the release. “We have built such a collaborative rapport over... Read more